Friday, December 14, 2007

Are You a Poser?

Is Mozam a Poser? You decide...Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


I’ve been trying to think of how to put ths into words for some time now. Am I a poser? Well, I guess the first thing to do is define the word, poser. I mean this label could mean just about anything in any certain context. So, let’s limit the context to cycling. I actually did some research on the subject via the wonderful world of Google and found some interesting references, but most of those references had one thing in common: disrespect. Without exception, every use of the word poser included some derogatory meaning or reference to which the description was applied. For example, mountain bikers use the word poser to describe someone who buys a very expensive mountain bike, but never takes the bike out on the trail. Road bikers tend to describe a poser as someone who wears a racing kit but never really races. Since I fall into the road biker category more than into the mountain biker category, I tend to reserve my usage of the word poser as it applies to road biking.

Lisa, The Ultimate Davitamon Lotto PoserPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


In light of the road biker definition, it is interesting to digress here a little bit and look at this from a national standpoint as well as an international standpoint. It has been my experience that when international fans wear their favorite team kit, others judge the behavior as showing loyalty and/or admiration for their individual country's cycling heroes. Americans on the other hand, especially in the road cycling community, label this same behavior as being a poser, or one who wishes they could, but can’t or doesn’t. I have even heard of the local “racer dudes” complaining about “non-racer dudes” wearing their same team kit. I guess it’s an ego thing or a, “hey, I earned the right to wear this kit and all this poser did was pay for it” attitude.

Posers, Posers, and More Posers!Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


So, here is my take on the whole poser thing. Personally, I tend to lean towards the international attitude rather than the good ‘ole boy American attitude. I see nothing wrong with wearing a team kit and riding your bike even if you don’t race; as long as the wearing of the kit is in accordance with the organization’s rules. I do, however, have a problem with wearing a kit/jersey that is unique to an event or accomplishment that you did not complete, or not fulfilling the requirements for wearing such a kit or jersey. For example: If you wear a 508 Finisher’s Jersey, you better have finished that race; or I, personally, think you are a poser…and my judgment is derogatory! On a broader note, let’s take a look at a club kit for example. Does wearing the club kit as in Planet Ultra’s case, make you a poser in my definition of the word. Well, yes and no. If you purchased Planet Ultra’s kit and you participated in a Planet Ultra event, whether you finished or not, I don’t think you are a poser. On the other hand, if you just purchased the kit and never at least attempted one of their events, I would call you a poser.

And The Shame of it all...The Poser LookPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Here is another extreme poser example and one for which I have incredible distain. There is this guy, let’s just call him poser-boy. On a ride I was on some time back, poser-boy shows up and just starts blowing off at the mouth about this and that. You know the kinda person who just talks louder than the rest of the group so he makes sure everyone notices him, instead of anyone else. Anyway, poser-boy pulls up beside me during the ride and starts his rendition of a, I’m this, and I’m that, one-way conversation. So, being the nice accepting person I am on occaision, I say: “Oh do you race?” Poser-boy says: “Yep, I was a pro for 21 years!” All proud and peacock like. As time goes on, poser-boy starts telling everyone he raced in the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, etc. He was even on Gerolsteiner’s team, Healthnet’s team and a host of others I can’t even remember, but the list is long, let me tell ya. So, myself and a few others, even a few local racer-dudes start researching poser-boy’s past via the wonderment that is Google. Guess what we find? Zero, Nadda, Zippo, not a thing that even references poser-boy. In fact, I researched Gerolsteiner’s team roster from the team’s inception and they’ve had one American on that team: Levi Liepheimer. And believe me, poser-boy doesn’t look anything like Levi. The sad thing is that poser-boy actually believes the drivel that is coming out of his mouth. Amazing! So, poser-boy get’s my vote for the best extreme poser act I’ve witnessed to date. So, I guess the question is: Are you a poser?

4 comments:

HRlaughed said...

Is Howard a poser? Nope, he's every bit as good as he tells you he is. Hahaha!

Love the essay/rant, Mozam! And when I got to the mention of poser-boy, I couldn't stop laughing.

One final question: All those folks wearing the Club Hypoxia team kit but never climbed anything higher than Woody Harrelson's vertical on a basketball court? Posers, right?

Robert said...

Howard,

You are truly genuine! Nope, all the folks who wear the Hypoxian's jerseys are genuine as well. See, they were invited by you mountain goats! Therefore, they all fall into Mozam's definition of the real deal!

Did some further research and poser-boy is registering his name under a well know domestic team, but does not have a USCF license. He also race Cat-4 instead of Pro 1,2? Interesting for a TdF veteran. Also, DNF'd 2 out of 2 last year. Things that make you wanna go hmmmmm...

HRlaughed said...

Poser-boy feels good telling his whoppers, and figures 1) that nobody would ever care enough to track down the truth, 2) that if they do care, then he's a winner because he really caught your attention, and 3) if you expose his pack of lies, no big deal, because he knows they were a pack of lies and had nothing invested in them other than the short-term enjoyment of undeserved adulation which is no doubt much greater than the scorn heaped upon him by little ol' you.

We don't like posers because, like you said, it devalues the achievements or credentials of the truly deserving. And sometimes there can be some mighty consequences for dishonoring the deserving.

I had heard for months before the Triple Bypass that it was considered not only bad form to wear the Triple Bypass jersey they sent you before the event -- before you actually "earned it" -- but that it was bad juju.

Pishaw!, I thought. So when I got my new full-carbon velobeast a week before Triple Bypass, I decided to break it in while wearing my 2007 Triple Bypass jersey... and post the picture to BikeJournal.com! Which I did.

After Triple Bypass, which came and went without too much difficulty -- excepting one flat tire and one broken down car on the return trip to civilization -- I went on a recovery ride the following week, where I had seven (7) flat tires on that single ride. My wife, who doesn't usually care or believe in such things, immediately attributed my Bad Fortune to my wearing of the sacred garment before I'd earned the right.

Some arrogances and lies will not be tolerated by the Gods of Cycling, it seemed.

You decide.

Posers will get their's, don't you worry.

RoubaixRider60 said...

American cyclists need to get over themselves with this poser crap. Everyone who wears a Yankees hat is not a poser, because they never played for the Yankees. Nor is anyone who ever wears their favorite team's football/basketball jersey. I'm not a poser if I wear the same cap as they hand out to the players after they win the Super Bowl, even though I didn't play! Welcome to America! Wear whatever team kit you want! If it makes you feel good to buy a yellow TDF jersey and wear it, go for it. Same with KOM. There is nothing wrong with showing that you are a fan of a certain team or event! I see guys with Team Discovery kits still and I have no problem with it all. That was a great team. But I know those folks never rode for Team Discovery. How do I know? Because they're not flying past me at 45 km/hr. Until you see the big boys ride in person, you can't comprehend it. TV does it no justice. So just get out and ride!